Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD) cover other terms such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), partial fetal alcohol syndrome (PFAS), alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD) and fetal alcohol effects (FAE). People affected by can have brain damage; facial deformities; growth deficits; mental retardation; heart, lung and kidney defects; hyperactivity; attention and memory problems; poor coordination; behavioral problems; and learning disabilities.
There are many long-term effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The majority of children who have been followed into adulthood have problems leading independent lives. Many young adults who do not receive appropriate support are unable to maintain employment and relationships with family, friends and partners. Many have legal problems.
The fetal brain is particularly sensitive to alcohol during the period of rapid growth in the third trimester.
After exposure, the cerebral cortex exhibits abnormal patterns in the distribution of neurons and abnormal neurotransmission. The hippocampus and cerebellum have decreased cell numbers and altered neurochemical activity. The corpus callosum appears to be absent or poorly developed in many children, as shown by MRI testing. The size and volume of the cerebellum and basal ganglia are reduced.
|The diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is based on four criteria: prenatal alcohol exposure (confirmed or unconfirmed), growth retardation, facial characteristics and neurodevelopment problems. |
The criteria for FAS include: